In Windfall by Jennifer E. Smith, Alice buys her best friend (with whom she is secretly in love), Teddy, a lottery ticket for his birthday, which ends up winning him $140 million. Becoming instantly rich does have its perks, but, as the Cyndi Lauper song taught me, money changes everything. Everyone starts acting differently toward Teddy. Though he had always been popular, people become less interested in him, and more interested in the money he’s willing to spend on them.
It’s notable that the book is told from Alice’s point of view, and it’s not an entirely happy read. Alice’s parents died when she when she was in elementary school, and though her aunt and uncle think of her as their own daughter, there is still plenty of pain. As Alice grew up, she followed in her parents’ philanthropic footsteps so much that she struggles to find what she wants out of her own life.
Windfall was a decent book, though I didn’t find it to be anything particularly special. I must admit that I started feeling annoyed once Teddy came up with his ideas on giving back. The author used the phrase “random acts of kindness” multiple times without giving any credit to the foundation that already exists, Random Acts of Kindness. Of course, the idea isn’t anything new, and it’s good to plant the idea into the minds of the readers, but since Teddy is starting his own foundation based on “random acts of kindness,” it just seems like there should have been some research done and maybe included the foundation in the acknowledgments.
Length: 416 pages
Favorite Quote: “Sometimes, through good luck or bad, through curses or fate, the world cracks itself open, and afterward nothing will ever be the same.”
Ratings: ♥ ♥ ♥